By Shawn McKenzie 07/16/2005
What is a short? I’ve noticed that they can either come in two forms. They can be a self-contained story with an interesting plotline (like an episode of “The Twilight Zone”), or they can be something that can feel like a big teaser for something more. The almost 20-minute short, Broken, goes into the latter’s realm, which bugged me, but it did leave me wanting more.
Bonnie Clayton (Samantha Jane Polay) is a woman who wakes up from what appears to be a nightmare at the beginning. In the dream, she sees a gun blast, which is the thing that woke her up. She gets out of bed, takes some prescription pills, and stumbles into the kitchen for some milk. She is startled to see a shadowy figure sitting in her living room that she thinks is her boyfriend Christian (Derek Evans.) The figure turns out to be a guy named Duncan (Paul Gordon), a menacing man in a purple jacket vest who carries with him a harmonica and has a scar on his left cheek. He informs her that her trip is about to be cut short, and suddenly she is knocked out by a woman name Marquez (Amber Crawford.) When Bonnie comes back to consciousness after being punched, she is tied to a chair with a piece of duct tape over her mouth. She is in this industrial basement, and it looks like she is about to be tortured and killed. Duncan tells her that “management” is no longer concerned about her lack of progress anymore and doesn’t need her around, so they are going to kill her. He is surrounded by what looks like his henchmen, Snake (Jose Luis Navas), Pinball (Danilo Begovic), Shamon (Stephan Morris), Penance (Ruben Gomez), Ukyo (Ken Robkin), and Kangol Guy (Eric Townsend), all looking ominous and quiet (I only know these names from looking them up on IMDb…otherwise, only Bonnie, Duncan, Christian, and Marquez are identified by name.) Meanwhile, while Duncan is monologuing, a dude dressed in all black comes in with a sniper rifle, zeroes in on the henchmen, and takes them all out. Duncan almost captures him, but the gunman manages to kill him too. What follows after reveals the reason why she was put down there, but unfortunately, it raises more questions that it answers.
Director Alex Ferrari, who made the movie using a script written by Ferrari and Jorge F. Rodriguez (and based off Ferrari’s story), has crafted a slick-looking little short. It cost an estimated $8,000 to make and had over a hundred visual effects shots. I’m not going to list all of the questions I had for it plotwise, but let’s just say that it made me wish that it was longer. I’m really a fan of character development though, and I hope that if Ferrari and Rodriguez are able to make a feature length movie, they will invest some time into the story.
The acting was just okay, but there wasn’t a lot for most of the cast to do, other than stand around with sneers on their faces. Gordon was interesting though, and I hope that Ferrari uses him in a future feature film.
Like I was saying though, Broken felt like a teaser for something more. I do hope that this short impresses some studio enough to want to make a full-length movie, based on the cool visuals in it. If you do get a chance to check it out, I encourage it. Maybe we might be looking at the next David Fincher in Ferrari.
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